Like many of the artists that I cover on this blog, Kydd Jones is seemingly always working on something new, so you usually don’t have to wait very long for something new to hit the streets. I recently found myself in a bit of a delay on the blog, and in the time that the unplanned hiatus took place, Kydd dropped 3 different singles. TV On is a mellow banger from TyOnDaTrack where his style emulates that feeling of catching random bits and pieces of information from a stimulus running in the background on a subliminal level. Elon Musk, another strange but mellow banger courtesy of Butcher Bear (the homie), finds Kydd, Tank Washington and Bryson Brown talking about personal evolution. Native Tongue, the most recent of the batch, finds guest vocalist Y2 joining Kydd on a track by Haris Qureshi as they get vibey and abstract on what feels like an ode to an avatar meant to represent powerful feminine energy. I’m hoping that this batch of singles means a project is on the way, because as always, the work is very strong and definitely worth checking out, so do so immediately!
It’s getting to be that time of year now that normalcy is creeping back into play, and that time is cypher season. As always, the College of Hip-Hop Knowledge (or CHHK) never misses an opportunity to show what they can do as a collective, and CYPHER 2 serves two purposes : an introduction for recent CHHK addition Ative, and a refresher course on standing members Sill, Casino ATX, Big Mic, Mic Trey and Big Tree #4Real. The entire crew gets the setup from DJ Berlin prior to making quick but efficient work of a beat provided by Jinx. Thanks to Caveman Films, we get to enjoy the CHHK adding another visual chapter to their quickly growing history, so if you’re digging what the crew is spitting, don’t hesitate to leave a like, comment the line that got you, and share the vid around to run the numbers up!
As the masses collectively emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to find footing in our ‘new normal’, it’s good to see expressive, boundary-pushing artists like Kae Astra emerging with an inspirational message. Kae Astra is no stranger to visually dynamic and engaging presentations, but Grow hits a little differently in the way that it presents us with a symbolic analogy about discovery in isolation. The song is as upbeat as it is lush, which matches the haunting visuals that literally find Kae Astra learning about herself with assistance from projected versions of herself out in the midst of the desert. Thanks to the work of director HM and crew, Kae Astra‘s beautiful song has been transformed into a beautifully cinematic video that is sure to leave an impression on all that discover it. If you dig it, leave a like and a comment before you share it with anyone else you feel might dig it.
If most artists had dropped an album within the last two months and another addition to an ongoing mixtape series in the last two weeks, they’d be content with the level of output they achieved, but then, poolboi blu isn’t most artists. I know the homie is always working on something, so it comes as no surprise that poolboi blu had Designer Only waiting in the wings, a new single breaking down his penchant for dressing fly and getting lifted. As always, I continue to stay impressed with each release and the growth that is shown, and this time around it’s clear that poolboi blu‘s confidence is pretty much right where it needs to be to succeed in a game full of fly-by-night acts. I shouldn’t even have to sell folks on poolboi blu anymore… it should be automatic at this point that whenever you see him drop, you purchase, download, stream and all that good stuff.
A lot of us had momentum going in different areas prior to the sudden and shocking pandemic-based shutdown caused by COVID-19, and one of my favorite examples of this was poolboi blu‘s instantly classic mix series s i n c e r e R A D I O. You’d think that with the world shutdown, the series would continue (if not gain traction), but instead, poolboi blu seemingly turned his DJ focus towards Twitch streams in order to hold (and grow) his audience. Now that some version of normalcy seems to be making its way slowly into our collective lives, it makes since that poolboi blu would lace us with sincere (volume 015), an instrumental-heavy affair that showcases his growth as a DJ. Here’s a quick tracklist :
You already know the drill… check it out, leave likes and comments, and spread the mix around for everyone to enjoy.
Here’s a little truth about All In Your Head straight from the Kendra SellsBandcamp page :
“As Kendra‘s debut foray into DIY production and solo work, All In Your Head is concerned with advocacy: how does one advocate for themselves in a world where your inner circle and daily interactions can be less than ideal, less than healing? Who ultimately grants the time for rest, reflection, understanding, and celebration? Across a varied and twisted landscape that tackles unease with artistry and anxiety with tenderness, Kendra‘s debut EP acknowledges the hurdles that exist when mentally and emotionally growing into self-acceptance, and topples them when their blooms finally show.” – James Cassar
“True to the title and the project’s sketchbook collage aesthetic, it’s a record that puts [Kendra] Sells more in touch with their musical impulses; keep the jazz scat singing, but replace the full band grooves with bedroom pop beats, and there’s nothing to stop her from swerving on a dime, flipping the vibe of a song at the speed of thought. Take the singles, which pull Sells in wildly different directions–from twinkling chimes and effervescent synths on the pop gem Call Me When Ur Dead to jagged guitars on Wondering//Bad Doctorzz‘ a rocking critique of the healthcare industry that twists, turns, and gathers steam as Sells gets more and more righteously fired up. Each track comes with at least one beat switch of its own, and the EP culminates in a multi-part title track, a survey of her unleashed imagination and captivating voice.”
I’ve always been a fan of Kendra‘s bold approach to her singing, songwriting and performing, and I feel that All In Your Head is a major step in not only capturing all of those aspects in a project, but in displaying aspects of her personality that may have not have previously shone through in her collaborative efforts with BluMoon. Long story short, if you’re looking for something new and inspiring, hop on this project immediately via whatever your favorite streaming service or digital storefront may be, and make sure your friends do the same.
I put on I Call This Place Home, Acclimated Assassin‘s brand new release, this morning while driving to work. I was immediately moved by the samples from Punishment Park (a personal favorite underground film of mine), and I knew I was in for something not only moving, but timely (and in an ironically bittersweet way when the subject matter is considered, timeless). I was formulating a bunch of eloquent words, but then I took a look at the description that Acclimated Assassin provided for the project, and I felt those words to be more appropriate :
“One part dystopian world one part modern day America. That’s what invoked the production and direction on Acclimated Assassin‘s newest beat tape. I Call This Place Home is a look at what plagues the world, with many of the beats on this tape crafted after watching the film Punishment Park and being reminded of the many issues this country faces.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself. There are plenty of merch options for this release, so support if you can, but spread the word about this one regardless, because it deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.
As the United States, not to mention the world at large, emerges from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear we have all been impacted, but it is unclear in what ways this impact will manifest itself. The homie Attic Ted is one of the first local artists to explore and address this directly with his upcoming project The Pandemic Single, a two-song exploration from his perspective. For those that missed it, one of the songs already has a music video out :
The songs are available to stream currently on the Attic TedBancamp page, and on August 1st, a run of 1,000 12″ records will be available courtesy of a recent audience investment campaign. Regardless of whether you’re a die-hard Attic Ted fan and supporter, or you simply dig the Lance McMahan artwork on the front of the project, this is one that collectors shouldn’t sleep on.
One of the best aspects of being a native Austinite and growing up in the central Texas area is the wealth of creative and highly driven individuals that populate the area. One of my long-standing friends and creative collaborators, Deuce Malone of The World of Deuce online, clearly mirrors that sentiment, as he is known for sharing posts all across social media sharing the secrets behind his rise into an industry position that suits him well. After a recent spotlight in Voyage Austin, Deuce decided to immediately pay it forward (and in some ways, pay it back) by dropping a video on his self-titled YouTube channel called How I Got a Job in Radio that breaks down the importance of not only creating a network of like-minded individuals, but how key it is to maintain that network as well as just how easy it can be to create one if your intentions are correct. If you’re looking for business tips, entertainment insight or sincere motivation, then subscribe to Deuce Malone on YouTube, but regardless, check out this video and make those key adjustments in your life!
Austin-based rapper, singer and songwriter Anastasia Hera has been gearing up for the release of the recently dropped This Is Anastasia, a slight redefinition and recalibration for the already heavily motivated artist. Her lead single, Big Tuna, serves as a quick reminder or update to those familiar with her, and a very up-front introduction to those discovering her for the first time. If you dig what you’re hearing on the single, then head on over to AnastasiaHera.com for the complete album as well as more news and media.